Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Race to the Ballot: Presidential Campaign 2012

The Presidential Election Is Two Weeks Away!
Do YOU Understand How the
Electoral College Works?
Share Our Informative Article With the
Young People In Your Life and
Make Sense of It Together!

With the national election just two weeks away, political pundits and presidential campaign staffers are desperately trying to determine which candidate has the most Electoral College votes for each state because it is these votes--not the popular vote--that determine who will win the presidency.

2012 Electoral College Map (Number of Electoral Votes per State)
But what exactly IS the Electoral College? Why don't we elect our president using the popular vote?  And why do we need the Electoral College?

For answers to all these questions, check out the NCBLA's exclusive article "Getting the Votes and Getting Elected: The Popular Vote vs. the Electoral College" on OurWhiteHouse.org.

Here is an excerpt:

We vote for a new president every four years, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, as established by Article II of the Constitution. Following the long, grueling months of advertising, primaries, conventions, and debates that make up modern presidential campaigns, Americans at last go to their polling places to make their voices heard.

The One Who Gets the Most Votes Wins . . . Right?

 You might think that the candidate who receives the most votes becomes president. Although this is almost always the case, four times in our country’s history—in 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000—presidential candidates have lost an election even though more Americans voted for them than their opponents. How can this be? The simple answer is that the Constitution specifies that the president is officially elected by the votes cast by a group of people known as the Electoral College, not by the popular vote—those votes directly cast by each voter. Although every elected official in the U.S.—from school committee members to U.S. senators—are elected based on the popular vote, the president and vice president are elected by the Electoral College.

To read the complete article, click hereBe sure to check out the discussion questions and activity suggestions for young people that appear at the end of the article. 

Looking for More Election Articles, Questions, and Activities to Share with Young People?

And don't miss our interdisciplinary anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, an outstanding collection of essays, personal accounts, historical fiction, and poetry that melds with an equally stunning array of original art to offer a look at America’s history through the prism of the White House. Our White House and its companion website OurWhiteHouse.org are the perfect resources to help you engage with kids in informed discussions about the presidential campaigns and election, teach them to think critically, and energize them to learn more about the political process in America!
Ask for Our White House at a
library or bookstore
near you!